1992, Ph.D., Trinity College, University of Cambridge, UK, History
1987, M.Phil., Wolfson College, University of Cambridge, UK, Social Anthropology
1986, M.A., Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India, History
1984, B.A., University of Delhi, India, History
Research and publications engage both the historical and the contemporary contexts of India, focusing particularly on cultural, visual and material texts, and rethinking the politics of the contemporary. Thematically, research areas of interest can be divided broadly into the study of family and kinship, both historically and theoretically; different aspects of questions of aesthetics and modernities; visual culture and theory; and religion and faith practices.
One part of this research focuses on modern Kerala and South Asian histories, and specifically the publications on kinship, aesthetics and more recently on religious identities and faith practices emerges from this body of work. Another broad set of research concerns have been on different areas of contemporary politics - from food cultures, community identities, contemporary histories of violence and resistance, and different aspects of thinking gender based rights. A final set of interests explore contemporary art and visual cultural practices, focusing mainly on painting and photography. Here questions of interest have focused on engaging the complex intersection of the aesthetic with the political, and opening up ways of theorising this relationship.
Teaching: Department of History, University of Delhi; Department of History, Lady Shri Ram College, University of Delhi; Centre for Women’s Studies, JNU
Visiting Positions and Fellowships: Centre for Development Studies, Trivandrum; Asian and African Area Studies, University of Kyoto; Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi; Internationales Kolleg Morphomata, University of Cologne, Germany; School of Women’s Studies, Jadavapur University, Calcutta; English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad
She has taught different aspects of modern Indian, and world histories. More recently, she has taught courses on feminist theory, women’s movements, gender and visual culture, and Religion and Faith Practice.
2014. Scholar in Residence, Gallatin School of Individualised Study, New York University, New York, USA
2013. Fellow, Internationales Kolleg Morphomata, University of Cologne, Germany
2009. SRTT Jadavpur University, National Fellow for 2008-09, School of Women’s Studies, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India
2009. Visiting Fellow in Cultural Studies, Department of Cultural Studies, English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad, India
2002-2005. University Grants Commission Fellow, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi, India
July 1998-June 1999. Visiting Professor in Modern Indian History, Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies, Kyoto University, Japan
1989-90. Eileen Power Memorial Scholarship, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK
1988-89. Ellen MacArthur Research Award, University of Cambridge, UK
1988-89. Michael Postan Award for Social and Economic History, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK
1987-9. Trinity College Research Bursary, UK
1987-9. Cambridge Commonwealth Trust Research Bursary, UK
1987-9. Overseas Research Award, Cambridge University, UK
1986-87. Overseas Development Award, Cambridge Commonwealth Trust, UK
One of the four JNU coordinators of collaboration with Global South Studies Centre, Cologne, Germany led DAAD project on :Remapping the Global South: Teaching - Researching - Exchanging
2010-ongoing. Delhi coordinator and co-organiser, Workshops and Conferences on Love and Revolution, in collaboration with University of the Western Cape, South Africa, and University of Minnesota, USA.
2015. "Khandaan/the Household", in Monika Kirloskar-Steinbach et.al. ed., Keywords in Modern Indian Studies, SOAS Studies in South Asia, OUP.
2015. "Ravi Varma’s Many Publics: Circulation and the Status of the "Art-Work"’, in Divya Dwivedi and Sanil V. ed., The Public Sphere from Outside the West, Bloomsbury Academic, London.
2015. "Reading, Writing, Region: the Early Malayalam Novel and the Problem of Identity’, in N. Jayaram ed. Ideas, Institutions, Processes: Essays in Memory of Satish Saberwal, Orient Blackswan.
2006. "Imagining Communities - Differently: Print, Language and the ‘Public Sphere’ in Colonial Kerala’, Indian Economic and Social History Review,XLIII, 1, January-March.
2006. "Who is a Malayali Anyway? Language, Community and Identity in Precolonial Kerala", in Satish Saberwal and Mushirul Hasan ed., Assertive Religious Identities : India and Europe, Manohar.
2016. ‘Bonds of Love, Ties of Kinship?: Or Are there Other Ways of Imagining the Family’, Indian Economic and Social History Review, Vol. 53, 3, (September, 2016).
2012. ‘Anna: the Image of India?’, Cultural Critique 81, Spring.
2003. ‘There Comes Papa’: Colonialism and the Transformation of Matriliny in Kerala, Malabar c.1850-1940, Orient Longman, Hyderabad